Book Review of Aspiring and Becoming by Astrid V.J.

 

Title: Aspiring (Book 1)

Author: Astrid VJ

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Fantasy
 

Rating: 5/5

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Title: Becoming (Book 2)

Author: Astrid VJ

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Fantasy
 

Rating: 5/5

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Back cover:

A coven of witches plots to overthrow a kingdom. One brave woman stands in their way.

At her mother’s death-bed, Elisabeth learns her mother’s illness is no accident and that her own life is in danger. Evil witches are plotting to take over the kingdom of Vendale. All alone, naive, and untrained, Elisabeth’s determination is all she has to confront her mother’s murderers as she discovers love at the same time. While Richard’s behaviour sends distracting mixed messages, Elisabeth finds herself stuck in limbo: she is treated like a child but is forced to make adult decisions. Meanwhile, the witches’ plot spins a fateful web around her.

Can Elisabeth succeed in the face of insurmountable odds?

*I am review book 1 and 2 together

Astrid did great in weaving the feeling of classic fairytales into her story for the modern reader. Elizabeth is a fun character who is relatable for anyone who has fallen in love, but then has to deal with her new powers and is given more responsibility than she ever thought possible. It definitely weaves in a few different class fairy tales from different areas of Europe, and I really liked that about it. Astrid writes very well and has a beautiful pose, although if you are looking for an action-packed story, this one might not be for you. This one is more lyrical and beautiful, versus other books in the genre.

The second book is great as it follows more of of the siblings’ tale. I really liked Edvard and his devotion to his sister, but felt we didn’t get enough of him in the last half of the book. Although the evil step-mother troupe is used a lot, it’s definitely a classic and is relatable to some people *cough-cough*. She was quite evil, but I found her believable as I have seen some pretty messed up families in my life because of step-parents. 

All in all, if you are looking for a beautiful prose that is based on fairy tales, I recommend these two books!

~Dani

 

Book Review of Embers by Sky Sommers

 

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Title: Embers

Author: Sky Sommers

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Fantasy
 

Rating: 4/5

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Back cover:

A wolf cursed to be a horrible warning. A huntsman who hates to kill. His son loves red T-shirts and to roam the woods alone.

For failing to uphold her end of the bargain Ella’s “wicked” stepmother Grace now walks the world on four paws. Her husband Peter has become the village huntsman to save his wife from the villagers. And his son from his wife.

Will Grace remember who she is as she is drawn to the boy? Will she find her way back to Peter? And how exactly do you lift a Fairy Queen’s curse?

This adult retelling of Red Riding Hood weaves several classic fairytales together with a splash of darkness, can be read as a standalone novel and is aimed at an adult audience (heat level: mild). For those who wanted to know how Prince Charming’s parents got together, keep an eye out for a nested story of Belle and Beast.

*I received this book from the author for my honest review*

This is a very beautiful retelling or Red Riding Hood with a mix of other stories such Beauty and the Beast and Hansel and Gretel. It is told beautiful, just like classic fairy tale stories, but set as a modern tale. I loved how it was changed into a boy representing Red Riding Hood because he always liked wearing the color red, and how he accepted the wolf and wanted to befriend her. As some who tries to support wolf activism (I literally just got a ding from my email from Grand Canyon Wolves as I wrote that haha), I appreciate not making wolves be the bad guy. 

This is a continuation of a series, and I haven’t gotten a chance to read the first book, but one could easily read this as a standalone if they wanted to. The only problems I had were that sometimes it was a little hard to follow and I got confused what exactly the conflict was. All in all though, it is a great beach read, lazy summer afternoon read, or a read next to a fire (depending on where you live, it’s hot here). I recommend to anyone who enjoys fairy tales.

~Dani

 

Book Review of Welcome To Velvet, AZ by Sherry Rossman

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Title: Welcome to Velvet, AZ

Author: Sherry Rossman

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Horror
 

Rating: 4/5

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Back cover:

For the past eighteen years, the town of Velvet has been under a holiday curse. For them, Thanksgiving is not about turkey and family. It’s about the Nightmares. This year, the curse arrives early—a full five days before Thanksgiving—sending a menagerie of characters on a search for answers. It begins with Boone, a seventeen-year-old who was raised by an ageless eccentric; Nick, a man in the midst of a breakdown; and Toni, a girl who won’t let any man get closer than three feet. As answers unfold, suspicions arise, and the power behind the curse is a surprise no one could have imagined.

*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for my honest review*

I picked up this books since I live in AZ and apparently like to frighten myself… I don’t like straight up gory horror, but one that send chills down your spine, and this one did just that! It was eerie and felt like the old horror I read as a teen. The characters were interesting and the way the curse became a part of the town was really fascinating. I really liked how it affected or was tied to people differently. 

The only problem I had with the book is that I felt it kept repeating the same thoughts and could have been shorter. Also, all the secrecy didn’t make sense since they were fighting this every year. We were left in the dark and that didn’t make sense to me since all the towns people knew and the characters whom we were reading their POV were keeping the reader in the dark. It could have been a little more polished in that regard, but otherwise I would recommend to anyone who likes creepy horror. 

~Dani

Author bio:

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Before I found the awesomeness of writing in the YA realm I dabbled in children’s stories and short works for adults. My first YA novel became an Amazon bestseller shortly before my publisher decided to close their doors. But I forged on, exploring fantastical ideas and discovering that our world is more magical than we give it credit for. These musings inspired The Water Man, which earned a spot in the anthology Mythic Orbits 2016.

I live on the sunny-yet-piney side of Arizona with my family and sweet boxador, Bella. 

Author Links:

Website: https://sherryrossman.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4455392.Sherry_Rossman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sherry-Rossman-155850011109024

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sherryrossmanauthor

 

 

Book Review of In the Penalty Box by Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount

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The Cutting Edge meets Friday Night Lights in a sizzling new hockey romance from bestselling authors Kelly Anne Blount and Lynn Rush!

Title: In the Penalty Box

Authors: Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount

Genre: YA Contemporary

Release Date: January 5, 2021

Entangled Teen!

Rating: 5/5

Amazon/B&N

Summary: 

Willow: Figure skating was supposed to be my whole world. But one unlucky injury and now I’m down…but I’m definitely not out. I just need to rehab—a boatload of rehab—and who’d have thought I could do it on the boys’ hockey team? Of course, the infuriatingly hot captain of the team seems to think I’m nothing but sequins and twirls. What’s a girl to do but put him in his place? Game on.

Brodie:  Hockey is my whole world. I’ve worked my tail off getting my team in a position to win the championships—hopefully in front of major college scouts, too—so what’s a guy to do when a figure skater ends up as our new goalie? Of course, the distractingly sexy skater thinks I’m nothing but a testosterone-laced competitive streak. And surely she’s only biding her time to heal, then she’s gone. Game over.

 

*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for my honest review*

From page 1, I couldn’t put this book down. I fell in love with Brodie and Willow and was rooting for them all the way through this books. I don’t skate, but I felt that the authors both did a lot of research on figure skating and hockey. I also found Brodie and Willow family situation and backstory to not feel generic and it helped move the plot, their characterization, and affect the way they acted. All the secondary characters didn’t feel like backdrops, but actually moved in and out of the scene with purpose.

I really like Brodie and found him to be a sweetheart. Both of their reasons for why they don’t want to be a couple in the beginning made sense, and I felt as if I was in high school dealing with the drama of that age all over again :P. The characters were believable and I felt connected to my younger self. The trials they both go through, and how they come out on the other side, is very inspiring. It is great to have characters that are caring and grow from challenges.

All in all, I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves YA romance! Rush and Blount did a fantastic job!

~Dani

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Book Review of To Whatever End by Lindsey Frydman

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Title: To Whatever End

Author: Lindsey Frydman

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Paranormal
 
Release Date: January 4th 2021

Rating: 4/5

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Back cover:

What if with every person you met, after just one touch, you have a vision of the last time you’ll see each other? Ever. Normally, these visions are innocent—two friends just drifting apart, a random stranger that brushed past you then never crossed your path again. 

But not today. 

When I accidentally touch him, within only moments of our first meeting, I’m bombarded by visions of his death. 

And from what I can see, I’m the reason he dies. 

Now I just need to figure out why, and how to stop this from happening. Because not only am I to blame, but his very last words to me are…I love you.

*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for my honest review*

I couldn’t put down this book! I read it all in one sitting as it was suspenseful, touching, and romantic. I really liked the main character Quinn as she is dealing with a curse that she isn’t allowed to talk about—seeing how a relationship will end. When she touches a person, she knows what kind of heartbreak is going to ensue, but she couldn’t imagine that it was because the boy she wanted to date was going to die.

From the first chapter, you wonder what she is going to do to try and save him, and you wondered if she was or if this was going to end sadly. I won’t spoil the ending, of course, but this entire book is definitely a read I will be recommending to those who like suspense. All the characters were interesting, and I really liked Griffin (the boy she has to save). I have been watching too much Avatar: The Last Airbender and totally just imagined him as Zuko the entire time, and that is what voice I heard in my head. Not complaining, just thought it was funny.

The only problems I had (and a problem I have while writing as well) is that there wasn’t very little interaction with other people that were supporting members or main characters. It seemed a little unrealistic or that there wasn’t anyone else in the town. There were instances where there should have been more people but it seemed silent. The other problem I had was there were some things that weren’t clarified and answered very well, but I don’t want to spoil what those were. All in all, I really enjoyed this book and will be checking out the author’s other novels!

 

~Dani

To Whatever End tour banner

lindsey frydman

About the AuthorLindsey has been writing since she was nine years old, when she discovered the awesomeness that is Harriet the Spy. Her books always include a romance, though sometimes there’s an added sci-fi or magical realism twist. She lives in Columbus, Ohio (where the weather is never quite right). Her BFA in Photography and Graphic Design has granted her a wide assortment of creative knowledge that serves as inspiration (and not much else). When she’s not crafting YA and NA stories, you’ll likely find her spending waaay too much time on Pinterest, playing a video game, singing show-tunes, or performing in a burlesque show—because she enjoys giving her introversion a worthy adversary. (Plus, it’s the closest to Broadway she’ll ever get.) Lindsey was a proud 2016 Pitch Wars Mentee and thoroughly adores being a part of the wonderful writing community. THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is her debut novel.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindseymf

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindseyfrydmanauthor/

Book Review of A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha

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Title: Curse of Roses

Author: Diana Pinguicha

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fantasy/LGBTQ

Rating: 5/5

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Purchase links can be found HERE!

Back cover:

With just one touch, bread turns into roses. With just one bite, cheese turns into lilies.

There’s a famine plaguing the land, and Princess Yzabel is wasting food simply by trying to eat. Before she can even swallow, her magic—her curse—has turned her meal into a bouquet. She’s on the verge of starving, which only reminds her that the people of Portugal have been enduring the same pain.

If only it were possible to reverse her magic. Then she could turn flowers…into food.

Fatyan, a beautiful Enchanted Moura, is the only one who can help. But she is trapped by magical binds. She can teach Yzabel how to control her curse—if Yzabel sets her free with a kiss.

As the King of Portugal’s betrothed, Yzabel would be committing treason, but what good is a king if his country has starved to death?

With just one kiss, Fatyan is set free. And with just one kiss, Yzabel is yearning for more.

She’d sought out Fatyan to help her save the people. Now, loving her could mean Yzabel’s destruction.

Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an epic tale of mystery, magic, and making the impossible choice between love and duty…

*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for my honest review*

This was a remarkable story that was full of color, imagination, and history. Pinguicha did a great job in her research and making this story feel grounded in the past, yet still have a flare of fantasy. I was fascinated by how the MC had a curse that turned everything she ate into flowers. I couldn’t help to wonder how I would deal with such a curse as an herbalist. It wouldn’t be practical, but the first five minutes would be cool!

The LGBTQ aspect was great and made me really feel for the characters, especially given the time period. Pinguicha put a lot of thought on how to portray the characters in the era and I really respect and admire that in books. It is ignorant to think LGBTQ wasn’t prominent throughout the history and it seems like a lot of books ignore that fact. Yay representation!

All in all, I highly recommend this book!

~Dani

About the Author:

Born in the sunny lands of Portugal, Diana is a Computer Engineer graduate who currently calls Lisbon home. She can usually be found writing, painting, devouring extraordinary quantities of books and video games, or walking around with her bearded dragon, Norberta. She also has two cats, Sushi and Jubas, who would never forgive her if she didn’t mention them.

Her art can be found at http://pinguicha.deviantart.com.

Also publishes under Diana Pinguicha Connors.

Website: http://pinguicha.wordpress.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pinguicha

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Book Review of The Journey and The Discovery by Kelsey Ketch

death island the journey

Death Island: The Journey

by Kelsey Ketch

Genre: New Adult Adventure/Fantasy

Release Date: December 2020

Rating: 5/5

With her family name tainted by her great-grandfather’s crimes, Meriden Cummings could only dream of fleeing her oppressive life. Then she unearthed a piece of tanned skin, and her blood revealed an ancient map adorned with Mayan glyphs, launching her on the journey of a lifetime. However, she finds herself bound to the map, and there is a cost to her newfound freedom. One that will torment her mind as well as her soul.

After being shanghaied by pirates, Gregory Wilson escapes to a small English village where he runs into an obnoxious auburn- haired beauty. When he learns she is about to set sail on dangerous waters, he signs up to join her crew, hoping to defend her from the pirates seeking her great-grandfather’s treasure. But, will he be able to protect her from the ghost that haunts her or the curse running through her veins.

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Purchase Links: | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks

death island the discovery

Death Island: The Discovery (Death Island #2)

By Kelsey Ketch

Genre: New Adult Adventure/Fantasy

Release Date: December 2020

Rating: 5/5

After arriving at Death Island, Meriden Cummings became haunted by dreams of a young Mayan woman’s death. A death, Meriden fears, foreshadows her own. And she soon discovers that in this tropical paradise, there are many ways to die. On top of that, the pirates after her great-grandfather’s treasure are not far behind. Can she and her crew stay one step ahead of them and the Mayan god that inhabits the island?

Meriden is not the only one haunted by the young Mayan woman’s death. Gregory Wilson has had similar dreams the moment he stepped foot on the island. In addition, he has seen the Mayan god of death, Ah Puch. Will he be able to protect Meriden from the earthly dangers as well as the supernatural forces seeking her demise?

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Purchase Links: | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks

GIVEAWAYS:

Giveaway 1 (US Only):

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5fbe8b4466/?

Giveaway 2 (INT)::

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5fbe8b4467/?

 

Review:

This is a great duology! I couldn’t put it down! It hit the spot for my pirate story needs! I loved how it followed Meriden, as she was a strong, female lead that knew how to hold herself in a fight. I also really enjoyed Gregory’s POV as he has an interesting back story and has a lot going on in terms of ties with the pirates that are chasing them. The mythology behind the story was really interesting and different than a lot of other pirate books I have read. I highly recommend this duology to anyone who likes pirate books!

~Dani

About the Author

Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist in the state of North Carolina. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.

For more information, please visit her site at kelseyketch.com.

Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

 

Blog Tour Organized By:

YA Bound Book Tours

Book Review of Ritual by J.S. Hope

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Title: Ritual: Lord of Misrule Book 1 (The Paranormal World)

Author: J.S. Hope

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

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Back cover:

Book one in New York Times bestseller J.S. Hope’s steamy five part paranormal romance serial, The Lord of Misrule!

Reporter Alessandra “Alex” Donati is in Venice chasing the story of her career. While the city prepares for the Christmas festivities, Alex is hot on the trail of a group that celebrates a much older – and much darker – festival, one that offers sex and sacrifice in exchange for power and wealth.

Alex is smart. She’s going into this with open eyes. She thinks she can handle anything the city and its ancient rites throw at her, including gorgeous cult leader Sebastian Assante, but she’s wrong. As the lines between fantasy and reality blur she finds herself caught up in the passion and excess of the Saturnalia Festival, and she loves it. The attention is thrilling. The heat and lust of the rites dizzying, and the hunger of the revelers intoxicating…but when the masks come off what lies beneath is terrifying.

*This novella is rated Mature*

Wow! This is a great start to a series! It gives enough background of the main character Alex, the world in which she lives, and is filled with action and sexiness. I love Alex as she is a relatable female character that wants to change the world one news story at a time. Never could she imagine the world she would stumble upon while in Venice.

The story ends on a cliffhanger, but don’t worry, the next book will be out in  a couple of weeks. It seems the entire series is up for preorder, so there is no wondering when the next one is out.

All in all, if you love paranormal romance, this series is definitely for you!

~Dani

Book Review of Abney Kelly and the Yuletide Shenanigans by SamiJo McQuiston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: Abney Kelly and the Yuletide Shenanigans

Series: Abney Kelly Series

Author: Samijo McQuiston

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating:5/5

Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Kobo

Back cover:

Abney Kelly seems like your typical thirteen-year-old trying to find her place in the world. She’s shy, awkward, has no friends, and is bullied constantly. However things are not always as they appear, after being pushed into a clover patch, a creature who says he’s her assigned guardian whisks her off to a school in Tìr na nÓg, called Yule.

Turns out she’s a Changeling, and it’s time she learns what that means. Between making new friends, discovering that all the monsters in her nightmares are real, and starting at a new school, Abney didn’t think life could get any harder as she splits her time between the human and Fae realms.

That is until her house matron warns them about Nicholas Kringle. He is stalking his prey throughout realms and collecting the hearts of those on his so-called nice list. At a New Year’s Eve party, Abney and her new gang use an Ouija board and discover that one of their friends is on Kringle’s list.

Determined to stop their friend’s death, Abney and company set off on a chilly adventure, to try to change fate, but only one thing is for certain… This year they’ll end up on the naughty list or die trying.

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*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for my honest review*

This was an amazing novel! I loved how McQuiston spun together Celtic, and other regions, myths together and created a world much like Hogwarts, if not better. I found it to be refreshingly original, yet still have that feel we are used to in magical schools. I really loved her take on the Santa, or St Nicolas, myth and how it played part in this story. 

Abney was a really nice character. It was great having a heroine one could relate to, and wasn’t boy crazy. I don’t mind having lots of love in stories, but having it not be the focus at all was very refreshing. I also loved the lgbtq representation in this book and her take on the two fairy queens. 

All in all, if you love a book with twists and turns, based off of mythology, has the feel of Harry Potter except with a girl MC and lgbt representation, this is definitely the book for you! Read an excerpt below!

~Dani

 

Enter the giveaway!

 

About the author:

SamiJo is a first-class shenanigator, decorated coddiwompler, narrator, and author of, The Abney Kelly series. She lives in Wyoming with her dog, two cats, and four chickens. She participates in tomfoolery frequently and plans to get into waggishness in the future. Vive La Pete! 

Website: https://www.vivelapete.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SJMcQuiston

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ViveLaPete/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s.j.mcquiston/?hl=en

 

Excerpt:

Chapter 6 The Story of Nicholas Kringle 

  

    A thick, stew-like fog encircled Oberon House. Th e Pucas were supposed
to be taking them to see the enormous Christmas tree in
the square, but there was no way to go out safely. If you stuck your
hand into the mist, it disappeared before your eyes, and in general, had
a strange-uneasy feel to it. Everyone was very content to stay in and help
decorate the house Christmas tree in the Ocean Room.
   The decorations were colorful and random; Agatha didn’t do
themes for her tree like Abney’s family did, but it was still fun, and everyone
chipped in. Blythe taught them to string popcorn, and Wilbur
and Snozbert were taking colored glass beads and morphing them into
different shapes and figures by request. It was like watching master glassblowers at work, but they never heated the marbles. Th ey were able to

manipulate them with their bare hands.
   “I love Christmas trees,” Abney said as she looked transfixed at the
glowing masterpiece.
   “It’s a Yule tree,” Feo said as she came in with a tray of sweet orange
tea and began pouring cups.
   “Is there a difference?” Abney asked curiously.
   “Oh, most definitely. Christmas trees are a pagan tradition you know,
taught to Fleetlings by the Fae,” Feo said carefully. “Anyway, the most important
difference is that a Yule tree is always a live tree. Fleetlings use
fake trees and all sorts of nonsense these days. They’ve forgotten the traditions
of old, but a Yule tree must be alive.”
   “I think it’s time for a story,” Agatha said from her armchair by the
fire. She took a deep drag from her hookah pipe through the black hole
in her neck. “Come closer, sugars, closer,” she bid them, and they all sat
on the floor near her feet. “You are all aware of the legend of The Santa
Claus?”
   “Everyone knows that one,” Zoey replied.
   “Ya, ya,” Domino agreed. “The dude who knows if you’re naughty or
nice. We all know how it goes.” Abney wasn’t sure why but she suddenly
felt edgy, and goosebumps rose on her arms.
   “That’s the one, honey,” Agatha agreed. “I suppose you know him as
a fat, jolly, man who passes out gifts?”
   “Every December the 25th,” Domino smiled.
   “That’s the version known to most Fleetlings,” Agatha continued.
   “But I’m going to tell you the real story. Heed my words. They are much
more paramount now than they have been in many years.” The teenagers
and Pucas moved closer to the fire, unconsciously wanting to chase away
the dark and its accompanying shadows.
   “This story starts out as all good tales do. Once upon a time, in a
faraway land, there lived a lonely king. Not just any king though, The
Winter King, Jack Frost, himself. Blythe, a little help please?” Agatha
breathed out. Blythe whispered a few words and blew them into
Agatha’s smoke. A sad man appeared in the escaping vapor, and the
story took to life as Agatha started to speak again, “He longed for a child
to love and fill his days with joy, but no maid could carry the child of the
frozen monarch. Frustrated and grief-stricken, he sought out the great
witch, Baba Yaga.
   “‘Grandmother,’ he begged. ‘I am alone and childless. Is there anything
you can do to help me? Is there a way for me to have a child?’ Baba
Yaga thought for a moment, looked deep into his heart, and knew he
was sincere. She decided to help The Winter King, but he must bring
her three things: Snow, from the coldest peak, coal from the deepest
mine, and a feather from the brightest Phoenix.
   “So The Winter King scoured the Earth until he had everything the
witch had asked for. First, Baba Yaga took the snow and patted it into
the shape of a girl, then she picked up the coal and wrapped the phoenix
feather around it, the coal ignited melting the feather into it. Finally, she
forced the coal into the snow girl where her heart would have been. The
winds picked up and whirled violently around them, but The Winter
King and Baba Yaga stood fast, and when the snow settled again, a small
pale girl stood before them. Her skin was blue, like a frozen glacier, and
her hair white as snow, with a hint of the Northern Lights about it. The
King loved her instantly, but as he reached for her, Baba Yaga stepped
between them.
   “‘Nothing is free, Winter King,’ she said. ‘A time will come when I
will ask you for a favor, and you must agree to do as I ask.’ The King,
being so close to his heart’s desire could do nothing but agree. Baba Yaga
released the girl to him with a warning.
   “‘She is snow and ice, but her heart is fire. She must never lose control
of her emotions. You must teach her to remain calm in even the
worst of storms. If she loses control, your daughter will melt and return
to the water from whence she came.’

Book Review of The Swordsman’s Lament by G.M. White

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Title: The Swordsman’s Lament

Author: G.M. White

Genre: Fantasy

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 4/5

IndieBound/Amazon/Barnes&Noble

When a prince is murdered, a legendary swordsman stands accused.

The King wants blood . . .

and loyalty counts for nothing.

Belasko thought he was beyond intrigues and machinations. But when the grief-stricken King demands vengeance, Belasko discovers he is expendable. His options are clear… find the real killer or satisfy the royal bloodlust.

With the forces of the palace mobilised against him he is thrust into the city’s bleak underbelly and must fight to discover the truth. With betrayal around every corner he must form unlikely alliances. Can the veteran warrior survive long enough to protect his friends and prove his innocence?

Join Belasko on a fast-paced fantasy adventure as he hunts the real killer, from courtly intrigue to the depths of the city’s criminal underworld, and learns the true meaning of The Swordsman’s Lament.

*I received this book for an honest review*

From the first page, I was hooked! I really liked the main character Belasko. He was someone you could root for during the entire book—cunning, resourceful, and a warrior. The fight scenes were terrific and it made me want to join HEMA right now (although I was already going to join once it’s safe for us to go out again). Swords, of all kinds, has always been a passion of mine so I was really glad when I was offered to review this book.

My favorite character, and one I hope we learn more of in future books, is the Water King. I think if I were in this world, I would probably be working for him if we were honest. I loved how there were myths about him and we got to learn some of the truth. I look forward in learning more about him and the world White created.

The only problem I had was with the princess. She was an important part but I feel we didn’t get to read enough of her to really understand who she was. Without spoiling, I felt the ending didn’t quite line up with the rest of the story for how she acted. It wasn’t a bad ending at all, and it worked, but I just needed to understand her thought process more.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. If you love knights, swords, or medieval stories, this is definitely one for you!

~Dani

About the author:

G.M. White

G.M. White has always been an avid reader, a love of the written word instilled in him by his parents at an early age. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that he was a very talkative child and the only time he was quiet was when he had his head in a book. Anyway, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that one. A lifelong storyteller he finally decided to put his imagination to good use and set pen to paper (well, fingers to keyboard) and started to write down the worlds that he carried with him in his head. The Swordsman’s Lament is his first novel, published September 2019.

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